A former member of the US national figure skating team said in a lawsuit Friday that he was sexually molested as a teenage boy by a coach the sport's governing body had ignored complaints about. Adam Schmidt sued coach Richard Callaghan and US Figure Skating in San Diego County Superior Court, the AP reports. He is seeking unspecified damages for several counts including negligence, sexual harassment, and assault and sexual battery that he said began in 1999 when he was 14. Schmidt, once known as Adam Baadani, quit a promising skating career because of the physical and emotional toll from the abuse, his lawyer said. "The US Figure Skating Association and the ice rinks where Callaghan worked ignored complaints against him for years. If they had done their legal duty in 1999 and reported Callaghan to the police, our client and other children could have been protected from this monster," attorney John Manly said.
Callaghan, who trained Olympic champion Tara Lipinski, was suspended last year by the US Center for SafeSport, the US Olympic Committee's misconduct watchdog, two decades after abuse allegations against him first surfaced. Craig Maurizi alleged in a 1999 New York Times article that the coach began inappropriate sexual contact with him when he was 15 years old; as USA Today explained last year, Maurizi also alleged that when he turned 18, Callaghan exploited his position of authority to enter into a full sexual relationship with him that lasted in some form for 16 years. The article also detailed complaints against Callaghan dating to 1991 by other students, including making sexual advances, inappropriate remarks, and exposing himself to a former student in a hotel room. Callaghan denied the allegations. Maurizi also filed a sexual misconduct complaint against Callaghan in 1999, but USFS dismissed it because it had not been filed within 60 days of the alleged misconduct. But when Maurizi approached SafeSport last year, USFS suspended Callaghan. (Olympian arrested after woman shot at his farm.)